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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler confident former Folkestone Invicta and Dulwich Hamlet striker Ade Yusuff can thrive in National League

Andy Hessenthaler admits signing Ade Yusuff is a gamble but it’s one he thinks is well worth taking.

Dover signed former Folkestone Invicta striker Yusuff until the end of the season after his release from Dulwich Hamlet and Hessenthaler believes the 25-year-old has one big thing going for him – a desire to succeed.

The Londoner has already had a taste of the Football League with Dagenham & Redbridge and Whites boss Hessenthaler believes he is highly motivated to get back to that level.

Ade Yusuff celebrates a goal during his prolific spell at Folkestone Picture: Paul Amos
Ade Yusuff celebrates a goal during his prolific spell at Folkestone Picture: Paul Amos

He said: “We’ve been looking for a striker but he wasn’t necessarily one we’d been keeping tabs on.

“There is a risk to it, in that we’re not sure if this level will be too much for him but he’s so hungry to show that he can get back to where he was before and I like that in players.

“I spoke to Neil Cugley (Yusuff’s manager at Folkestone) and he was very complimentary about him, he thinks he can step up and give it a right go.

“He’s not that big but he’s strong and he wants to show the football world that he’s good enough to step up, it’s a bit of a gamble but as the chairman said ‘Why not?’”

Yusuff scored 51 goals in 102 appearances for Folkestone before his move to National League South Dulwich in the summer.

He spent a month on loan at Tonbridge earlier this season and leaves Hamlet after seven goals in 15 appearances.

Hessenthaler explained: “The lad was keen to come, I think he was getting a bit frustrated there.

"He’s powerful, quick and he’ll definitely run in behind and perhaps stretch teams.

“We have players out wide who can do that but Ade is versatile and will give us something a bit different down the middle.”

Yusuff could make his debut away to bottom club Chorley on Saturday as 15th placed Whites return to National League action after successive defeats, at home to Maidenhead (4-3) and Boreham Wood (2-0).

Dover striker Inih Effiong Picture: Chris Davey
Dover striker Inih Effiong Picture: Chris Davey

Top scorer Inih Effiong is expected to return after his knee injury, but Hessenthaler will have to take checks on midfielder Oscar Gobern (thigh) and defender Bobby-Joe Taylor (hamstring).

Several players including Ricky Modeste, Anthony Jeffrey and skipper Kevin Lokko have been hit by illness this week.

Chorley held Whites 1-1 at Crabble in September – one of 11 draws the league newcomers have had this season – and Hessenthaler expects another tough contest.

He said: “We’ve lost our last two games so we need to get back on track.

“There are a lot of teams above Chorley who have lost more games, but they’ve probably had too many draws.

“They’re a big side who will make it difficult for us, but we’re still confident in our away form.

“If we can go to places like Hartlepool, Barnet and Yeovil and win we can certainly get a result at Chorley.”

Dover’s home league game with Hartlepool, scheduled for January 4, will now take place a week later.

Hartlepool face a trip to Oxford in the FA Cup on the fourth.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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